WSR 09-12-117



(Economic Services Administration)

[ Filed June 3, 2009, 8:53 a.m. ]

Original Notice.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 08-14-119.

Title of Rule and Other Identifying Information: The department is amending WAC 388-450-0015 What types of income does the department not use to figure out my benefits?

Hearing Location(s): Blake Office Park East, Rose Room, 4500 10th Avenue S.E., Lacey, WA 98503 (one block north of the intersection of Pacific Avenue S.E. and Alhadeff Lane. A map or directions are available at or by calling (360) 664-6094), on July 7, 2009, at 10:00 a.m.

Date of Intended Adoption: Not earlier than July 8, 2009.

Submit Written Comments to: DSHS Rules Coordinator, P.O. Box 45850, Olympia, WA 98504, delivery 4500 10th Avenue S.E., Lacey, WA 98503, e-mail, fax (360) 664-6185, by 5:00 p.m. on July 7, 2009.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Jennisha Johnson, DSHS Rules Consultant, by June 23, 2009, TTY (360) 664-6178 or (360) 664-6094 or by e-mail at

Purpose of the Proposal and Its Anticipated Effects, Including Any Changes in Existing Rules: Child support is currently a deduction from a household's countable gross income for Basic Food assistance. The department is proposing to exercise an option from the 2002 Farm Bill to treat child support payments made to someone outside of the home as an income exclusion prior to administering the gross income test.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: Currently, some households are denied for Basic Food assistance for excess gross income, even when up to 50% of their income is paid out in child support. These families are now unable to qualify for food assistance due to income that they have no access to because it is paid out in child support. This change will enhance the division of child support's mission to collect child support and will enhance the community services division's mission to assist low-income families to access the Basic Food program.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 74.04.005, 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.04.510, and 74.08.090.

Statute Being Implemented: RCW 74.04.005, 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.04.510, and 74.08.090.

Rule is not necessitated by federal law, federal or state court decision.

Name of Proponent: Department of social and health services, governmental.

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting, Implementation and Enforcement: Don Winslow, 712 Pear Street S.E., Olympia, WA 98504, (360) 725-4580.

No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. This proposed rule does not have an economic impact on small businesses, it only affects DSHS clients by setting standards used to determine eligibility and benefit levels for the Washington Basic Food program.

A cost-benefit analysis is not required under RCW 34.05.328. These amendments are exempt as allowed under RCW 34.05.328 (5)(b)(vii) which states in-part, "[t]his section does not apply to... rules of the department of social and health services relating only to client medical or financial eligibility and rules concerning liability for care of dependents."

June 1, 2009

Stephanie E. Schiller

Rules Coordinator

AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 09-09-103, filed 4/20/09, effective 4/21/09)

WAC 388-450-0015   What types of income does the department not use to figure out my benefits?   This section applies to cash assistance, children's, family, or pregnancy medical, and basic food benefits.

(1) There are some types of income we do not count to figure out if you can get benefits and the amount you can get. Some examples of income we do not count are:

(a) Bona fide loans as defined in WAC 388-470-0045, except certain student loans as specified under WAC 388-450-0035;

(b) Federal earned income tax credit (EITC) payments;

(c) Federal economic stimulus payments that are excluded for federal and federally assisted state programs;

(d) Title IV-E and state foster care maintenance payments if you choose not to include the foster child in your assistance unit;

(e) Energy assistance payments;

(f) Educational assistance we do not count under WAC 388-450-0035;

(g) Native American benefits and payments we do not count under WAC 388-450-0040;

(h) Income from employment and training programs we do not count under WAC 388-450-0045;

(i) Money withheld from a benefit to repay an overpayment from the same income source. For Basic Food, we do not exclude money that is withheld because you were overpaid for purposely not meeting requirements of a federal, state, or local means tested program such as TANF/SFA, GA, and SSI;

(j) Legally obligated child support payments received by someone who gets TANF/SFA benefits;

(k) One-time payments issued under the Department of State or Department of Justice Reception and Replacement Programs, such as Voluntary Agency (VOLAG) payments; and

(l) Payments we are directly told to exclude as income under state or federal law.

(m) For cash and Basic Food: Payments made to someone outside of the household for the benefits of the assistance unit using funds that are not owed to the household; ((and))

(n) For Basic Food Only: The total monthly amount of all legally obligated current or back child support payments paid by the assistance unit to someone outside of the assistance unit for:

(i) A person who is not in the assistance unit; or

(ii) A person who is in the assistance unit to cover a period of time when they were not living with the member of the assistance unit responsible for paying the child support on their behalf.

(o) For medical assistance: Only the portion of income used to repay the cost of obtaining that income source.

(2) For children's, family, or pregnancy medical, we also do not count any insurance proceeds or other income you have recovered as a result of being a Holocaust survivor.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.005, 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.04.510 and 74.08.090. 09-09-103, 388-450-0015, filed 4/20/09, effective 4/21/09; 06-07-078, 388-450-0015, filed 3/13/06, effective 5/1/06. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057, 74.04.510, 74.08.090 and Public Law 106-419. 05-03-078, 388-450-0015, filed 1/17/05, effective 2/17/05. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08.090 and 74.04.510. 02-14-022, 388-450-0015, filed 6/21/02, effective 6/22/02. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.057, 74.08.090, 74.09.530 and 2000 2nd sp.s. c 1 210(12). 01-18-006, 388-450-0015, filed 8/22/01, effective 9/22/01. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08.090 and 74.04.510. 99-17-025, 388-450-0015, filed 8/10/99, effective 10/1/99. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057 and 74.08.090. 98-16-044, 388-450-0015, filed 7/31/98, effective 9/1/98. Formerly WAC 388-505-0590.]

Washington State Code Reviser's Office